Sunday, March 31, 2019

Hello Spring!


 Bring it, Spring! I've waited (what seems like) a long time for your arrival.

The snow is history, and the streets are dry. The temps have still been a little on the cool side, but the buds on the trees are starting to show and I have spotted some bulb stems poking through the ground. Things are looking more like Spring and less like Winter.

And I could not be happier!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Back at it...Runfessions for March


Well, here we go again.

Time to bare our (running) souls and share a few things that have been weighing heavily on the mind. Although, technically, Spring arrived right on time, it certainly seemed like it took forever to get here.

None the less, Spring is in the air, and I have some runfessions to disperse...

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Heroes Memorial 10K Run


 Be careful what you wish for.

Recently, I made the comment that with my three March 10K's, it would be kind of cool if I could run each of them faster than the previous ones. Hmmmm...

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Breaking Into Spring

Talk about a serious break, and just when I really needed one.

The cold weather broke, our Spring Break commenced, and I was (finally) able to break away from the treadmill!

Anyways, first things first

Welcome to the Weekly Run Down! I am so excited to host this link-up with Deborah (from Confessions of a Mother Runner).
If you write a fitness-based blog, you're invited to join the party.
The link-up opens at 1:00 (EST) on Sundays and remains open through
Monday (noon). Please share your weekly fitness endeavors, training
highlights (or low lights) and race recaps. We ask that you link back to
both hosts, and we encourage you to read/comment on the other linked
blogs as well.

So, here's what went down this past week...

Never Miss A Monday

The forecast promised warmer temps in the
afternoon, so I just did a quick 1-mile morning walk with Max (our dog). After
work, I headed outdoors (ahhhhh!) and decided to do a 3-mile Fartlek
run. I don't think I've done one of those since last fall, when I was
training for my marathon (Cannonball Marathon, October 2018). I
alternated between 3-4 city blocks at a moderate pace (effort level
around 5-6) and 2-3 blocks at a tempo-like pace (effort level 8-9). Wow.
Did those three miles feel great!

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, shoes, tree and outdoor

Trick-play Tuesday

With our upcoming trip, I wanted to get in a strength session, and Tuesday was really the only day it would work. In anticipation of a potential DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) episode, I purposely did my workout in the evening...ideally allowing for a Wednesday morning run without incident. I did an all-body strength workout, involving numerous squats, lunges, push-ups, 1-minute wall sits, various arm/shoulder moves and some stair work. And I slept quite soundly that night.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and shorts

A Wonderful Wednesday #5at5

After a several month sabbatical, I resurrected the #5at5 (five miles at 05:00), albeit it solo (my friend, Barb, is still recovering from knee surgery). Granted, there have been a few indoor early morning 5-mile runs in recent months, but they have been inside, on the treadmill (ugh!). Getting back outside felt amazing! The spring-like temps were near perfect. The streets were all mine. My legs felt invincible. It's pretty incredible how those five miles, outside, felt so much easier than the four miles I've done with Milly in the past couple weeks. Side-note, as predicted, the DOMS were a no-show until later Wednesday morning. Score!

Low-key Thursday

The hubby and I boarded a jet plane and arrived in Tampa Wednesday evening. As mentioned, the DOMS showed up around noon on Wednesday, and they were still taunting me most of Thursday. My hammies and quads were on fire like never before. All I had on tap was some walking in the Florida sunshine, so all was well.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, tree, sky, outdoor and nature

Fabulous Floridian Friday

I was up and out the door for another early morning walk among the palm trees in the warm air. I didn't have any fitness plans on the agenda until the the Heroes Memorial Twilight Run 10K, which wasn't until 6:30 p.m. When race time rolled around, things were feeling great...the DOMS were gone, the weather was perfect and the course was pretty flat. I just tried to run strong, with minimal glances at my watch. Thankfully, all went well. Low and behold, my finish time was (almost) my fastest 10K ever, and I was able to snag a top-25 (female) finisher award. More details to come in the race recap...stay tuned.

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Simple Saturday

I debated, briefly, about going for a short recovery run, but opted for a walk with the hubby instead. Seriously, shouldn't all days begin like that...outdoors, sunshine, pleasant temps, and a nice walk with Starbucks at the finish?

Sunny Sunday

Up and out the door! How about a rise and run adventure in the sunrise? Even with a relatively low-key Saturday, my body felt a bit stiff and cranky. The hubby and I drove over to Bayshore Drive. He walked and I ran the scenic route, along the bay. I ran three miles, and each mile took longer. That said, I will never regret a run, especially in a beautiful setting. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a sunrise.

Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and sky

Overall, it was a pretty sweet week. To say that I was over-the-moon excited to be back outside for all of my running would be a massive understatement. Monday's Fartlek run was a nice change of pace (quite literally) from my usual Monday runs. The one strength workout I did was very thorough. The timing of the DOMS that followed couldn't have happened more perfectly with the Wednesday early morning run and the downtime before Friday night's race. Total running mileage came in at 18, and total miles walked topped out at almost 10. I have another 10K happening this next weekend, so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with that. Knock wood, the momentum will continue.



In case you missed them, here's the posts from last week (there only were two):

Seeing Green!

A Few Basic Necessities

In other news:

Friday Fashion Flair. As luck would have it, I had a small wardrobe malfunction and one of my sparkly sandals bit the dust. I didn't have to walk around barefoot in Florida, but I did have to make do with "only" one pair for the final couple of days in the sunshine state. First world probs, right? Anyways, the temps were a bit cool in the morning, but I was still quite comfy in shorts and cheetah print. Life was still good. If you want to play along, it's really simple...(1)post a pic of a favorite outfit, (2) grab the hashtag (#fridayfashionflair), and (3) be sure to tag me (@runningonthefly).

Spring Break in sunny Florida was awesome! The hubby and I had a great time in the Florida sunshine, hanging out in Tampa for several days with some friends. The weather was perfect and was the perfect break from the cold winter we'd endured.

So, that's the run down on this past week's fitness. A break from the cold, and a breakaway from the treadmill. Both did my body, mind and spirit a ton of good.

How about you? Does it feel like Spring has officially arrived? Any Spring Break plans? Racecations? Do you stay active while on vacay or just chill, and take things easy?



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Monday, March 18, 2019

A Few Basic Necessities


Let's hit the road!

Believe me, there's no place I'd rather be. After a rather extreme winter (well, at least the past two months), I'm glad to kiss Miss Milly good-bye and head back outside.

Anyways, do you have some favorite must-have's for running?

Here's a handfull of mine....

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Seeing Green!


 Ahhhh, it was bound to finally happen...

Green.

Not only have I been guilty of wearing it (umm, hello, St. Patrick's Day!), but the dirty snow has been melting and there's ever the hint of green grass emerging! Call me crazy, but it's looking a little more like Spring!!!

Friday, March 15, 2019

A (very rainy) Leprechaun Chase 2019


I'm always up for a good time, especially on race day.

But first, let me set the scene...

The temps were cold (upper 30F's). There was wind. And, did I mention rain was in the forecast for the entire day?

Such was the setting for the 2019 Leprechaun Chase (Des Moines, IA). 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Favorite (new and not-so-new) Fitness Trends


What do you think of trends? Do you follow them, or stay strong in doing your own thing?

When it comes to fitness, a lot of things are ever-constant: endorphins feel good, injuries happen, cotton is a no-go if there's gonna be any kind of perspiring happening. Yadda yadda yadda. We all know, though, that things need to evolve with the times, and it's (often) best that we change as well.

Here are a few trends, some new and some not so new, that I'm really liking at the moment...

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Spring Ain't Here...Yet


Nope, it ain't Spring yet.

As much as I'd like to curse the groundhog, it's really not his fault. He did see his shadow, right? Doesn't that (supposedly) predict another six weeks of winter? If that's the (folkloric) case, then (technically) we still have another week to go...so I'll cut him some grace (for seven more days).

Friday, March 8, 2019

Strong Women...let us CELEBRATE them


There are so many strong women in my life.

Being it's International Women's Day, it's the perfect time to honor them.

Monday, March 4, 2019

A Treadmill Catharsis


I guess I've had a meeting of the minds with Milly.

You all know who Milly is, right? She's the treadmill that lives in our mudroom. She and I are not exactly the best of friends.

I think I have come to a catharsis on the relationship she and I share, though.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sorry, Winter...You will not break me

I've never been a fan of Winter.

This particular winter has really been a piece of work. It's kept me inside far more than ever before, but you know what? It has not broken me or my spirit.


Anyways, first things first.....

Welcome to the first edition of the Weekly Run Down! I am so excited to host this new link-up with Deborah (from Confessions of a Mother Runner). If you write a fitness-based blog, you're invited to join the party. The link-up opens at 1:00 (EST) on Sundays and remains open through Monday. Please share your weekly fitness endeavors, training highlights and race recaps. We ask that you link back to both hosts, and we encourage you to read/comment on the other linked blogs as well.

This past week, saw the end of February (one of the l.o.n.g.e.s.t. Februaries I can remember, in terms of nutzo weather), but also the start of March. We have Daylight Savings Time happening very soon, so things can only get better, right?

Here's what went down this past week...

Monday

Tired and somewhat achy muscles warranted a low-key morning. Thirty minutes on the elliptical (and some stair work) gave me my morning boost of mojo and all was well.

Image may contain: one or more people

After work, it was Milly time (again). Three progressive miles (with 400m surges) and the #nevermissaMonday run was in the bank. Honestly, I don't know what felt better...stepping outside afterwards, into the 10F temps, or tossing the snow into the air. Both felt pretty empowering.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

Tuesday

Not much on tap for Tuesday...After a brisk early morning walk (inside) and 40 quick flights of stairs (also inside), a short stretch (outside) was in store. Besides, the hubby was out of town and someone had to haul the recycling bin down to the curb.

Wednesday

Time to get real, and keep it real. Not all of my early morning runs are phenomenally euphoric. See that chick in the window (below, upper right)? She's good entertainment for maybe one mile and then I get bored looking at her. My 18ish year-old treadmill is loud, so I can barely hear my music. And, there are no tv screens to distract me from the monotony of running in place. That said, it feels pretty badass to conquer a treadmill run. Even when I cut it short (which happened for this particular run), I'm always thankful for the opportunity to move, breathe and sweat. Four miles at 5:00 a.m. (instead of the usual five)...and you can see the steam rising off of me in the 14F early morning air. I also did an upper-body strength workout in the evening.

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Thursday

I had not HIIT'd for awhile, so it was time.

~5 moves x 10 reps x 5 circuits~

*burpees

*push-ups

*stair flights

*jump squats

*jumping jacks

Doing the math, there were 50 total reps of every move. The stair climbs took the longest of each to complete, but they also acted as a bit of a rest period because I didn't do them especially fast. Total time commitment was just over 30 minutes, which included maybe 15 seconds between each circuit.

Friday

The temps didn't feel too bad when I took the dog out for his morning business. There was more frigid weather in the forecast, with more crazy wind (right? big shocker!).  What's an outdoor runner to do when she's been stuck inside too much? I bailed on the rest day, and got out for a couple of miles before work. There were some icy patches, but since I had daylight, I was able to avoid any slipping, sliding or face-planting. I knew I'd also be running on Saturday, but I wanted to take advantage and "bank" some outdoor miles. It happens. Sorry, not sorry.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, tree, shoes, sky, outdoor and nature

Saturday

Recently, I have been treating myself to the gift of sleeping-in on Saturdays, so when I finally crawled out of bed (yes, 8:00 a.m. is late in my world LOL), I had full daylight and all kinds of sunshine. I was hoping to knock out seven miles but was not looking forward to doing all of it on the treadmill. I made the command decision to layer up, lace up and head outside with the theory that even just a couple outdoor miles would mean fewer inside miles. Amazingly, the freezing cold temps didn't feel too bad....until I had a headwind. After four miles, and a near-frozen face, I headed back home. I don't know if I dawdled too long in shimmying out of the tights (and losing all of the layers of clothing), but my feet felt like lead and my legs didn't want to move once I climbed onto the treadmill. I was hoping for three Milly miles, but pulled the plug after two. My Ipod kept giving me the "low battery" warning (all morning, from the 1-mile mark), so I also felt like it was a race against the clock. So, six total miles (instead of seven), but I finished before my music did. I'm calling that a win! Glass half full.

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Sunday

Although I knew the temps would be cold, I awoke with the urge to go for an outdoor walk. Then I checked my weather app...and quickly changed my plan of early-morning-cardio action. I have been neglecting the elliptical a lot (in exchange for all the stair-climbing I'd been doing), so I spent 30 minutes with Ellie and got an awesome sweat session done. After that, I deemed it a designated rest day (and stayed inside after church).

Image may contain: 1 person

All in all, I'm satisfied with  my week. The running mileage wasn't stellar (15), but at least some of it was outside. There was a little bit of walking (5ish miles), a cumulative hour of elliptical, and 250 flights of stairs. Wednesday's upper-body workout left me feeling strong, and Thursday's HIIT really got the heart pumping. I'm continuing to love my early morning fasted-cardio routine.



In case you missed them, here's my posts from last week:

Let It Be

Let's March  Onward

In other news:

Friday Fashion Flair...did you see it on Instagram? Cold temps are still the norm. Ironically, the 30F temps don't feel so frigid in comparison to what we've had...not that I want them to stick around. So, I'm still wearing sweaters and scarves (and thick socks), but I am choosing to smile anyways.  As always, you're invited to play along...post a pic of a featured outfit, grab the hashtag (#Fridayfashionflair) and give me a tag (@runningonthefly).

Here's a running gear hack. I'm a big fan of compression sleeves. I don't wear them for every run, but often times I wear them for long training runs. I also wear them for recovery after long runs or races. I have some full compression socks, but am not fond of the way they fit my narrow feet. Compression makes them even more skinny so it feels like there's extra "room" inside my shoes. I don't know how I have not thought of this before, but wearing an extra pair of socks over the compression socks solves the problem (#duh). Compression seems to have a cooling effect on me, so I don't think there will be an issue of my feet being too warm (even in warm weather).

The stair-climbing challenge at work officially came to a conclusion this weekend. The challenge entailed the participants climbing 562 flights of stairs from February 3rd through March 2nd. Since I do a lot of stair climbing anyways, I upped my goal to 1,000 flights...and was able to surpass it. I treated all of that stair-climbing as my main lower-body work for February. It involved daily climbing (usually 20-30 flights at the minimum), so my legs and glutes saw plenty of action. Although I will continue with regular stair work, I have no plans of doing it on the daily (other than the random trips up and down for routine household stuff). I'm moving on to more focused ab/core work for March. Stay tuned.

So, that's the latest and greatest in my little corner of the universe. As I said, winter is not my favorite time of year, but it is what it is. And, it will not be here forever.

How was your week? Any great workouts? Crazy and/or cold weather? Are you as eager for Spring (or Summer!) as I am?

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